Making certain the right criteria are used to judge...


March 06, 2000

Making certain the right criteria are used to judge school needs

At the redistricting meeting at Liberty High School, Director of School Support Kathleen Sanner purported that the South Carroll residents were taking a we/they position regarding the building of the new Westminster High School. This clearly was not the intent.

We merely stated that although we are aware that at some point the county will need another high school, we must question whether it is needed before other alternatives are first explored. The numbers that the committee provided to the public make it grossly apparent that the seat deficit is in the lower end of the county and in the middle school ranks. We deem that limited budgetary resources must be allocated to serve the greatest good for the greatest numbers of Carroll County residents, wherever that may be.

The fact that Ms. Sanner called attention to the we/they position in the first place leads me to question her intense ownership of the new high school plan, thus rendering her ability to be an objective member of the long range planning committee. When it comes to disrupting the lives of 4,356 Carroll County children, I would hope that above all, decisions are being made for the right reason.

Reasons supported by objective data. Not political entanglement.

Cathy Rees


Promise your children that you care by voting

The proposed redistricting of Carroll County schools has one positive effect: It has awakened a sleeping giant in the form of the south Carroll community.

This area has been a dumping ground of unplanned growth, arguably without its fair share of funding. Now the countywide redistricting will move 4,000 of our children. The horror stories on the effect of redistricting that became public at the two recent hearings at Westminster High School and Liberty High School are just plain mind numbing.

A review of the facts and figures, charts and graphs support the premise that the redistricting is needed. But this premise is about the desire to fund and fill a new high school in Westminster.

The opposition to redistricting is not about facts and figures, charts and graphs but about our children. The current Westminster High School does have about 350 more students then capacity. But to move 4,400 children because of overcrowding of this magnitude seems and is inequitable.

Furthermore, the cost of this new high school is more than $40 million. The cost to operate a new high school on an annual basis is $3 million. Where is this money coming from?

At the present time, the county commissioners have forward funded this project. That means that should the state not agree to contribute to this project, this new school will be funded 100 percent by your Carroll County tax dollars. Normally, the State of Maryland is a major contributor to school construction when justified.

However, it has not approved a single penny for this project.

All agree that there are limited resources, that our school systems ranking within the state is slipping, and that more money needs to be directed to the classroom.

I agree that Westminster High School needs some relief. But as a member of the South Carroll community, I do not agree that we should race ahead with construction of this high school.

I do not agree that redistricting is necessary. I do not agree that our limited resources should be used to build an unfunded high school. I do not agree that future projects in South Carroll should be eliminated so that we can build a new Westminster High School today.

Finally, I do not agree that there is nothing we can do about redistricting and the lack of a comprehensive plan for the future education of our children.

If the sleeping giant of South Carroll fails to awaken and go to the polls next month in the school board elections, we have forfeited our childrens future and the right to complain. South Carroll has an opportunity to elect two new school board members who will serve the interests of South Carroll, as well as the rest of the county.

We are the largest population center in the county and yet we have not made our voices known. Apathy and inaction guarantee future disaster.

For South Carroll, it is time to drop your remote controls and go to the polls. Make our voice heard. Make that commitment to your children. When you go to tuck your kids in to bed tonight say, I promise that I will not to sit idly by and let my elected officials compromise your educational future. Make them a promise that you will cast an educated vote in the school board elections.

Michael Burgoyne


Writer says Hiltz has qualifications needed

The following letter is written with regard to Tom Hiltz, a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education.

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